HC Deb 31 July 1974 vol 878 cc220-1W
Mr. Edward Lyons

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the future development of local radio.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

The previous administration's plans envisaged up to 60 stations for independent local radio and 27 locations had been announced. Since the future of independent local radio is a matter which will fall to the Annan Committee to consider, the Government have decided to limit the stations to a number sufficient to provide the committee with adequate experience of the operation of independent local radio. Accordingly, the IBA has been informed that in addition to the 13 stations for which contracts have been let—and of which six are already on the air—a further six stations may be authorised on the basis that they will be on the air by the end of 1975. These stations are at Bradford. Ipswich, Portsmouth, Wolverhampton, Belfast and Reading. The IBA has been told that if problems such as site acquisition offer obstacles to the timing of the programme, recommendations for alternative locations for the equipment, within the same time scale, can be considered. Further development of the independent local radio service will depend on the Annan Committee's report.